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Become an Accountant or Auditor

VIEWS: 9 PAGES: 2

									?Accountants and auditors are responsible for maintaining the fiscal health and
integrity of a business, individual client, or government agency. To do this, they need
to keep and maintain accurate records, ensure that taxes get paid properly and on time,
analyze and communicate financial information, verify financial documents, make
transfers of capital or income, and in some cases, provide financial and investment
planning for their clients. The profession of accounting and auditing can be roughly
broken down into four major categories: management accounting, government
accounting, internal auditing, and public accounting. Management accountants record
and analyze financial information of business enterprises. Government accountants
and auditors maintain and examine the records of government agencies and they also
audit private businesses and individuals whose activities are subject to government
regulations. Internal auditors examine a corporation's internal processes for efficiency,
effectiveness, and compliance with corporate policies and government regulations.
Public accountants perform a wide variety of activities in the realms of accounting,
auditing, tax, and consultation. Their clients may be corporations, government
agencies, nonprofit organizations, or individuals. Most accountants and auditors work
in a typical office setting and usually work a standard 40-hour week. However, those
who specialize in taxes often find themselves working long hours during the tax
season.

Education, Certification, Licensing

The standard educational qualification for most careers in this field is a bachelor's
degree in business, accounting, or a related area. However, those with a master's
degree have a much higher level of opportunity. Many employers also look favorably
on students with significant computer proficiency or work experience in jobs
involving some type of number-crunching. Some universities and colleges are now
offering specialty programs to prepare students to work in a specialized profession
such as internal auditing.

Any accountant who is required to file a report with the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) is required by law to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Many accountants and auditors choose to obtain this valued certification anyway. In
order to earn this certification, an accountant must pass the four-part national CPA
exam and must also meet the other requirements of the state where he/she chooses to
practice (CPAs are licensed by their State Board of Accountancy). As of 2007, 42
states and the District of Columbia required CPA candidates to complete 150 semester
hours of college coursework, which entails an additional 30 hours beyond the typical
four-year bachelor's degree. Several other states have adopted similar legislation that
will become effective before 2009. Prospective accounting majors should carefully
research requirements of any states in which they hope to become licensed. Most
licenses must be renewed periodically and nearly all states require CPAs to complete a
certain number of hours of continuing professional education before their licenses can
be renewed.
This article on accountant and auditor training and careers has been provided courtesy
of City Town Info.

								
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